In preparing for another financial planner interview this week, I imagined how a certain discussion could play-out regarding our debt:
Planner to me: So do you have credit card debt?
Me: Sure do.
Planner: So why don’t you pay it off right now or at least increase your payments?
Me: Because the thought of having zero dinero in our emergency reserves makes me vomit.
For my family right now, it comes down to rebuilding habit.
For a while, it’s been ‘pay off the card’. Then a perceived emergency that warrants use of it occurs again (we wouldn’t have much in emergency reserves since we focused on debt pay-off).
And the cycle played out many times in our lives.
So I shared this tact with husband Sean – to which he concurred on changing focus. He was creeped-out by the card balance (predominantly tax payments) but appreciated the underlying philosophy: build up cash reserves to prevent credit card usage in emergencies.
Then comes the self-reflection:
What has the most impact on one’s financial beliefs? Is it more than just live-and-learn as an adult?
That must be a complex answer for everyone.
Yet these two childhood memories stand out as canyon-wide influences on my financial beliefs:
- family thrived with their business during the Oklahoma oil boom;
- family sank deep into fiscal ick-ville when that boom went bust
Don’t wanna go back there … ever.
So what’s the first step – forming a positive vision to strive toward (vs always looking back at that which we want to avoid)?
- WiseBread’s Sarah Winfrey outlines those wise, internal questions that can frame what we really want. …joy? chocolate? companionship? love? a Twinkie bath? Winfrey’s reflective approach proved a useful tool to carve out purpose — financial or otherwise.
Please treat yourself to Jonny Goldstein‘s above Twinkie bath clip, 3 minutes. The ribs crack from cackling every time.